When the Mind is without Fear

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Photograph of Painting at Chitrasanthe 2016 – Artist Prakash K

The screen stares at me, glowing in anticipation; I open tab after tab drawing blue boxes on the screen. My mind, blank, wonders what if Medicine had never happened, what if Christmas didn’t find me sitting here in this rank Emergency, sitting here at 2 at night waiting for that CT report, that other idiot’s X-ray and the mild fever hypochondriac’s blood counts.

I would probably be having some tea now, wrapped up in my favourite comforter, my mind numbed by my delectable combo of Netflix, food and warmth. Krithika by my side, complaining of my choice of film; bored out of her skull; unappreciative of the cuts, the editing, the dialogue, the direction and more.

“God, this is so depressing”, she would’ve said.

What then; would I have turned it off; we would’ve had gotten cosy then, probably. Man, I could have been having tea, comforter, sex and maybe with some luck, even a movie.

People call me movie crazy, but honestly, there’s just something enjoyable about soaking in your own mediocrity, watching someone else’s art take your breath away. There’s also a joy in choking and gagging at it when their art sucks. It’s as good a guilty pleasure as any. Watching their little lives play out on my screen pausing when I want, rewinding when I will it so, reliving their best, their deaths, their cheating wives, their deadbeat dads, their boring sons. Watching their stories makes my own real, my own interesting, even worthy.

I used to have this fantasy as a kid that my life was a movie, that someone somewhere was sitting in a plush theatre eating a version of popcorn and nachos watching my life play out, admiring my boring life, my deadbeat dad, my cheating wife, my worst and my best.

Man, maybe I am Movie Crazy.

The screen continues to glow in front of me, the last few days have been quite mundane; the ED has been calm, no deaths, no intubations, nothing, not even a VVIP connected patient to put in his place, just an unearthly calm.

I open the Guardian’s website and begin to solve the Quick Crossword, the cryptic is to snooty, the editor’s high handed, so the Quick it is.

4 Across ————- Believes in (6) ———- Trusts

16 Down ————- Cheap Wine from the Rhine (9) —————– Don’t know

24 a ——————-Cleaning Device (7,7) ——————-Umm… Vacuum Cleaner

18 a ——————- Actor from Gandhi (8) —— Kingsley

What a combination of words is the crossword. Letters, words, clues smushed together on a drunk chessboard, forced into union for eternity regardless of choice, of need, desire.

Aren’t we all in a way, crosswords forced into being, living in the spaces between the black and white, forced into being with, around people we don’t want, doing what we don’t need, falling down our own rabbit holes, falling, falling, waiting to land, waiting for life, or is it waiting for death, to begin.

Epilogue – The mind is an amazing place, will it out of structure and it searches for patterns and formats; will it to write in scheme and it struggles to force words together.

The above piece was a part of fifteen minute freewriting exercise at Write-Club Bangalore. The mind flows if forced to, force yours to flow and fly everyday.

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